Beginner tips for raw images: 09 Make selective adjustments
Adobe Camera Raw is the industry standard software for raw conversion, and it is available in Photoshop and Elements (and is also mirrored in Lightroom’s Develop module).
Adjustments made in Adobe Camera Raw were limited before the arrival of Photoshop CS4, in that you could only apply them to the entire image.
But with the introduction of the Graduated Filter and Adjustment Brush, Adobe Camera Raw suddenly became a whole lot more useful.
In Adobe Camera Raw version 7 (which comes as standard with CS6) the Adjustment Brush and Graduated Filter tools have been improved with extra options to adjust white balance.
This makes it easy to selectively correct white balance in order to warm or cool an image.
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Beginner tips for raw images: 10 You can expand dynamic range by combining raw conversions
In high-contrast lighting, your camera sensor may not be able to record detail in the dark or bright areas of a picture (or indeed both).
By converting the same image twice, each time adjusting the exposure of the shot to deal with high-contrast lighting, you can produce an image that shows detail in all areas.
For landscape photography, the effect is similar to using a graduated Neutral Density lens filter to darken the top half of your image, but you have much more control over the transition between the two exposures.